6 Things Tiger Woods Needs to Work on This Offseason

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2012

6 Things Tiger Woods Needs to Work on This Offseason

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    Golf's 2012 regular season is all but over.

    That does not mean it's time for Tiger Woods and other top golfers to relax. The FedEx Cup Playoffs are about to begin, and next month the Ryder Cup will tee off in Medinah, Ill.

    So there's quite a bit of work to do before golf's offseason officially gets underway.

    The 2012 season has been a successful one for Tiger Woods. He has won three tournaments and he sits on top of the PGA's money list.

    However, while Woods was happy to get back in the winner's circle this year, he was once again frustrated by his performance in golf's major tournaments. He was shut out for the fourth year in a row and has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

    Here's what Woods needs to work on when the current golf year ends and he begins to prepare for the 2013 season.

Driving: Distance

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    Tiger Woods is one of the biggest hitters on the tour, right?

    Not anymore.

    While Tiger may take some of the hardest hacks on tour, he is no longer among the leaders in driving distance.

    The top driver on the PGA tour is Bubba Watson, who averages an impressive 315.9 yards every time he tees the ball up on a par-4 or par-5 hole.

    Woods is not right behind him. He's not in the top 10 or top 20 in terms of driving distance. Instead, Woods is tied for 39th with Bo Van Pelt at 296.9 yards per drive (source: PGA.com).

    During the PGA Tournament, Woods often eschewed the driver so he could keep the ball on the fairway. While that's somewhat logical, that's not how Woods made his reputation. He needs to go back to hitting the long ball and stop worrying about his errors.

Driving: Accuracy

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    When it comes to hitting the fairway with his drives, Woods has become an ordinary golfer.

    If you are going to play with confidence and attack the course so you can get birdies, you have to drive the ball into the fairway. That has not been one of Woods' strengths this season.

    He ranks 35th in driving accuracy, hitting 65.22 percent of fairways on shots off the tee. Jerry Kelly, Ben Curtis, Heath Slocum, Tim Clark and Jim Furyk all are hitting better than 70 percent of their drives into the fairway.

Putting from 8 Feet

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    Professional golfers have to make short putts.

    This is a no-brainer.

    However, it's not just for the obvious reasons. Golfers of course need to make short putts to keep from adding strokes to their scores.

    However, when a golfer misses a short putt, it often has a debilitating impact on confidence.

    Woods struggled on putts in the eight-foot range this season. According to PGA.com, Woods ranked 101st this year in that category. He made 14 of 27 putts from that range compared to top-ranked Sergio Garcia, who made 11 of 15 of those putts.

Temper Control

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    Bad shots are a part of the game. Even when your name is Tiger Woods.

    Woods will often curse or castigate himself after a bad shot.

    That's understandable. When you have won 14 majors and your goal is to overtake Jack Nicklaus, you have high expectations of your own game.

    But when you make a mistake, you have to realize that the next shot is the most important. You can't dwell on the last one. In the video above, Woods takes himself to task for a poor drive at the Masters, and that does not help his game.

Mid-Round Adjustments

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    It seems like when Tiger Woods gets off to a good start, the chances are pretty good that he will have a strong round of golf.

    On the other hand, when he gets off to a poor start in a given round, it seems that he is destined to continue on that track.

    Perhaps that's a continuation of the temper problem mentioned on the previous slide. However, top golfers are able to control momentum slides. When a bad hole leads to another one, top pros have to know how to stop the downward trend.

    This is especially true of Woods.

Rest and Recovery

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    Tiger Woods has had serious injuries throughout his career.

    He has had multiple injuries to his left knee and he has ruptured his right Achilles tendon. He has also had neck problems and back problems (source: U-TSanDiego.com).

    Playing with injuries have led to other injuries.

    Once Woods gets to the offseason, he needs to rest, relax and give his body a chance to recover.